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Garza-Guerrero, A.C. (1981-82). The Superego Concept: Part II: Superego Development, Superego Pathology, Summary. Psychoanal. Rev., 68(4):513-546.

(1981-82). Psychoanalytic Review, 68(4):513-546

The Superego Concept: Part II: Superego Development, Superego Pathology, Summary

A. Cesar Garza-Guerrero, M.D.

Phase I: Aggressively Derived, Primitive, Sadistic Superego Forerunners

For reasons that will become more clear toward the end of this phase, I will describe phase one of superego formation as evolving through the first three stages of Kernberg's20 developmental schema of internalized object relations: from (1) normal autism or primary undif-ferentiated stage, to (2) normal symbiosis or stage of the primary, undifferentiated self-object representation, and through the (3) differentiation of self from object representations that begins between the sixth and eighth month of life and reaches completion between the eighteenth and thirty-sixth month.

The primary undifferentiated stage may last several weeks from birth on, for observations of infants indicate a capacity for the recog-nitory evocation of the mothering-one around the tenth week8; and, further, the consolidation of the primary undifferentiated self-object representation probably takes place somewhere between the fourth and the twelfth week. Throughout the primary undifferentiated stage, the “good holding mother” (in Winnicott's terminology) complements ego functions not as yet available to the infant. Such intuitive mothering satisfies the infant's needs and provides a source of pleasurable, gratifying experiences, which contribute to the gradual build-up in the baby of a basic core experience of satisfaction and pleasure.

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